The Minimalist Hundred Day Plan

film_countdown_04As I’ve mentioned, one of the key things I’m trying to overcome with all this is my case of perfection paralysis.

It’s something that’s kept me from doing a lot of things, and really slowed me down with a lot of others. Thankfully, it hasn’t caused any real problems for me, because I’m pretty good about switching over to a much more practical mode when there’s an actual deadline… and the project is for someone else. (My own stuff… well, there’s really been no helping that most of the time.)

That’s not to say that other things haven’t gotten in the way of completing other people’s projects… just that they weren’t killed by perfection paralysis.

What is Perfection Paralysis, anyway?

Perfection paralysis is pretty much what it sounds like. You don’t move forward with a project because you can’t get it perfect. It’s the painting that’s never started because you can’t get the rough sketch just right. It’s the short story that’s never finished because you keep editing it again, and again, and again. It’s that open mic night you never step up to because you just know you’re going to mess up that opening note or stumble over the chorus.

Partially it comes from being far too set on your visualized outcome.

Partially it comes from a deep seated fear of failure–or success (which, really, can be just as terrifying… I’ll probably talk a bit about that in a vlog sometime).

It’s easy to forget that everyone started off producing crappy work.

There isn’t a single creator of anything that I know of who doesn’t have a pile of stuff they’d just as soon burn as put out there. Some of them keep it around, though, so they can always remember there’s a process involved.

You start out making crap and, with time and work, you get better. Those first dozen drafts probably don’t look like what’s in your head. You’re still learning to hold the brush, or turn a phrase. You’re increasing your skill with your vocabulary–be it literary or visual. If you’re smart, you’re consuming massive amounts of content, both related to the subject you’re trying to work with and unrelated (because you’ll never cease to be surprised at how an idea from some disparate arena can solve a problem you’ve been having for ages).

That’s something that’s very hard to remember. It’s an easy excuse to never even start.

It’s why, if you know you’re prone to perfection paralysis, you need a minimalist plan. Not a perfect plan… just something to give yourself permission to start out imperfect.

My plan is, more or less, to just get something up every day for a week.

The requirements for that “something” are pretty light. It will be a video that’s between 3 and 5 minutes long, featuring me, talking about stuff.

There’s no requirement for fancy editing. There’s no insistence that it employ all the things that I know about that make a video utterly fantastic. There’s no plan for multiple takes–or, for that matter–a script.

After those first seven? Well, we’ll see. The main goal of the first dozen or so is just to get comfortable talking to the camera without anyone else around. Once I get that down, then I can worry about making it all better. (Heck, I’m still not even that skilled using my editing software… that’ll be another long-term goal.)

The important thing is that I just start cranking this stuff out. Overcome the inertia and other things holding me back so the project can start building its own momentum.

Who knows where it’s going to lead? I certainly don’t.

And I don’t think I want to know right now.

Speaking of wanting to know… click the big green button below here to submit topic suggestions and questions so I know what kinds of things you want to see go on in these videos, even if they are a bit crappy at first.

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About Kier

I've been on the web since about 1994. I have a background in a lot of things, including a five year stint as a journalist and over a decade of helping people get their message out to the world.

I write on a number of subjects--everything from relationships to personal development to politics and every day life. I hope you get something worthwhile out of it.

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